Villagers Protest Liberian Government as Ebola Bodies Pile Up

Villagers Protest Liberian Government as Ebola Bodies Pile Up

(AFP) Liberians blocked major roads across the capital of the Ebola-hit west African nation on Monday to protest against dead bodies being left for days in houses and abandoned in the streets.

The impoverished country, along with neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, is struggling to contain an epidemic that has infected 1,440 people and left 826 dead across the region since the start of the year.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced last week the closure of schools and placement of “non-essential” government workers on 30 days’ leave in a bid to halt the epidemic, which has killed 227 people in Liberia.

Ministers have warned against touching the dead or anyone ill with Ebola-like symptoms, which include fever, vomiting, severe headaches and muscular pain and, in the final stages, profuse bleeding.

Liberians have been advised to call the emergency number to ask for the removal of the dead while soldiers on the streets are keeping areas clear of corpses.

But many have complained that overstretched health workers have been leaving bodies in the streets and in homes for days.

Road blocks first sprung up across major routes over the weekend, and have appeared in several neighbourhoods of Monrovia, according to an AFP reporter in the capital.

Deputy health minister Tolbert Nyensuah said the government was doing its best to collect bodies as quickly as possible.